Metal in The Microwave: This is What You Need to Know

Metal in the microwave – possible in exceptional cases

Put a piece of aluminum foil or a gold-rimmed plate in the microwave and it will sparkle.

  • Microwaves heat food by causing the waves to vibrate the molecules in the food.
  • Metal, on the other hand, reflects the waves, to put it simply. The consequences are sparks and lightning and in the worst case the microwave breaks.
  • A study commissioned by the “Metal in the Microwave Industry Group” at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging refutes the common opinion that metal has basically no place in the microwave.
  • The researchers found that ready meals in aluminum trays can be reheated in the microwave without any problems.
  • There are no flying sparks and the food is heated evenly. However, it takes a little longer in the aluminum bowl than on the plate until the food is really warm.
  • It is also important that the lid is completely removed, the aluminum bowl has a large and wide opening and is positioned in the middle of the glass plate. There must also be sufficient space between the dish and the microwave wall.

Metal in the microwave – spoon in the cup

Another exception to the rule is a spoon in a cup.

  • Some microwave manufacturers even recommend placing a metal spoon in a cup when heating a liquid.
  • The background is the possibility of overheating that occurs when heating liquids in the microwave.
  • This overheating is also called delayed boiling. This means that the liquid can be heated to 100 degrees in the microwave without it starting to boil.
  • The danger here is that if you touch the cup after it has been heated, water vapor bubbles can suddenly form in the liquid.
  • Important: This can result in the liquid suddenly squirting out of the container when you remove the cup and you could burn yourself in the process.
  • If you place a spoon in the cup, this ensures that the water vapor bubbles form on its surface as soon as it is heated, thus preventing delayed boiling.
  • Although the spoon is made of metal, sparking is unlikely because a spoon usually has no sharp edges.

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